Perrone Law, P.C
Get the Representation You Deserve
221 W. Lake Lansing
East Lansing, MI 48823
Phone: (517) 351-0332
Fax: (517) 913-6287
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
If you retain a bankruptcy attorney most creditors must contact your bankruptcy attorney and must cease calling you. Collection agencies cannot contact you but a creditor that holds the original debt would still be able to call you. It is essential to have a bankruptcy attorney that has knowledge and experience dealing with personal financial matters before you file and after you are discharged. Sometimes filing for bankruptcy is not in your best interest. It should always be used as a last resort. You should exercise other options before filing for a bankruptcy. Negotiating with creditors sometimes is an ideal strategy to dealing with personal financial troubles. If negotiating with creditors, then there are tax implications that often need to be addressed. If it is imperative that you file for bankruptcy to stop a garnishment or if you have debts that are too onerous to be paid it is necessary to have an attorney who can maximize your exemptions and who knows how the means test works. Jacob A. Perrone has the knowledge of bankruptcy law and experience dealing with the bankruptcy courts to allow you to obtain a "Fresh Start".
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy allows a debtor to discharge debt. To qualify for a Chapter 7 a debtor's income must be below the median income for their state or they must pass a "means test" that uses IRS guidelines for expenses and compares this to the debtors income from 6 months prior to filing bankruptcy to determine if they have enough disposable income to pay creditors over a 60 month period. If you qualify for a Chapter 7 your are entitled to exempt certain property from being distributed to creditors through the Bankruptcy estate such as your home, household furnishing, and vehicle. You are normally discharged within 60 to 90 days after filing for Bankruptcy. If you have very bad credit lenders will be more willing to give you a loan after your debts are discharged through bankruptcy although you will not be able to obtain a favorable interest rate. Call for a free consultation to determine if you qualify for a Chapter 7 discharge.
Bankruptcy Means Test
In 2005, the United States substantially changed its bankruptcy laws, adding a means test to prevent wealthy debtors from filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The most noteworthy change brought by the 2005 BAPCPA amendments occurred within 11 U.S.C. 707(b). The amendments effectively subject most debtors who make an income, as calculated by the Code, above the median income of the debtor's state to an income-based test. This test is referred to as the "means test." The means test provides for a finding of abuse if the debtor's income is higher than a specified portion of their debts. If a presumption of abuse is found under the means test, it may only be rebutted in the case of "special circumstances." Debtors whose income is below the state's median income are not subject to the means test. Notably, the Code-calculated income may be higher or lower than the debtor's actual income at the time of filing for bankruptcy. This has led some commentators to refer to the bankruptcy code's "current monthly income" as "presumed income." If the debtor's debt is business debt, not primarily consumer debt, then the means test is inapplicable.
Means Test Formula
Thus, the means test is "a formula designed to keep filers with higher incomes from filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. (These filers may use Chapter 13 bankruptcy to repay a portion of their debts, but may not use Chapter 7 to wipe out their debts altogether.)The bankruptcy means test is rather complex but quite generous and most debtors have no trouble meeting its requirements. Consumers can use a means test calculator to determine their eligibility. Others have suggested that the means test is not all that fair or equitable, and have somewhat cynically pointed out that the reference to consumer protection in the bankruptcy act is ironic at best, since those with primarily consumer debt are required to pass a means test while businesses are not. What is undeniable is that it is complex, and the terms that govern many parts of it - including those terms that control whether it applies at all - are of unsettled definition.